Category Archives: Resources

How To Deal With SESTA FOSTA

A few days ago, SESTA / FOSTA passed, creating dismay and fear within the sex worker community. While it appears that phone sex operatorsindie clip makers, and cam performers are not the target of the legislation, there are likely to be some changes for those providers too. Not just because the law is poorly written – and destined to hurt those they say they are protecting – but because the law is aimed at online platforms. Many sites are already taking action. Some are disappearing sections of the sites; some sites have entirely disappeared. And it is clear from the folks behind the law, that this is aimed not just at paid sexual encounters – but at sex itself.

Since the passage of the legislation, I have been compiling and sharing news and tips at the Phone Sex Secrets Twitter account. As that account is *knocks wood* not dealing with Twitter Shadowbanning, I hope I am signal boosting facts and tips for sex workers. Along with the retweets, I’ve been sharing some tips myself. But since shadowbanning is a real thing, because not everyone uses Twitter — and because this legislation is targeting online sites, I realize tweets may not be safe. So I am going to post a number of helpful links and tips here.

Three of the most practical threads on Twitter were from Lamina Vua, HarlotAdvocate, & Liara Roux. The Harlot Advocate’s thread has been preserved at Fairy Whore Mother. Liara Roux’s thread has been posted at Tits & Sass, so you can read it there. Lamina Vua’s thread, screen-shot images, are presented here so they do not get lost.

My tips:

#1 Make a list of trusted Twitter accounts — and follow them, so even if they are shadowbanned you can see their pages. Also on that list, include URL – so you can find them, even when they are shadowbanned & do not show up in searches (either by name or hastag).

#2 Do the same with their websites & contact info so that if they (or you!) are deleted from Twitter, you have a method of connecting.

#3 Keep a list of trusted publications & resources (i.e. organizations, not persons) which you can count on for industry news. One such place for this issue would be Survivors Against Sesta.

Additionally…

I recommend continuing to tweet and be active on the platform sites you are using so that clients can continue to find you — especially if you are moving to other platforms, etc., and wish for clients to be able to find you.

I also have threads & posts which you can share with clients. I know I recently advised against being too negative or sharing too much activism — but this is one of those times when it is worthy of mentioning actions clients can and should take. It helps them to continue to support you. (And sometimes sharing what someone else wrote removes the “sting” of negativity a bit!)

Both the thread on Twitter and the much more in-depth post on Tumblr are written specifically for clients — both in terms of education and actions they ought to take.

***

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Even if you’ve been here before, you may have missed the new additions to the site:

New, easier to schedule consultations, coaching, & tutoring sessions page!
A concise listing of all my instantly downloadable phone sex whitepaper guides!
A list of my most popular other services for PSOs — including rates and buy now options!

What Are You Reading? (Or: Self-Employment Means Self-Education)

Everyone always talks about how mainstream can (& has!) taken it’s business cues from the adult industry in terms of both marketing and tech innovations. But it works the other way too.

I don’t just mean overly general “how to market your business,” “blogging,” “tech,” or “social media” articles either. Yes, those are perfectly fine; much of that general information can apply to what PSOs need to do for their businesses too. (So long as you read or listen to such things aware of how the potential censorship will limit or impact your adult business.) But also look to other specific industries as they relate to your business.

Selling newsletter, content, or website subscriptions? Look at the publishing industry.

Need help converting your listings? Read about landing pages & copywriting.

Want to sell more pay-to-views, audio recordings, clips, etc.? Read articles about retail & online commerce.

Know your target audience? Read articles about selling to those specific demographics.

Remember, phone sex is not only part of the adult industry, but the service industry as well. Discover how the service industry is surviving and even thriving in the Internet age.

What other industries or market do you feel align with your brand? Luxury? Hospitality? Entertainment? Education? Read up on them for tips on connecting with your target market. Expand your reading areas and you’ll expand your knowledge base — and when you test or implement those ideas you can expand your business reach and profits too. You might even discover new possibilities for services to offer or be inspired to create a new niche for yourself!

I spend roughly 10 hours a week reading business materials (or listening to podcasts) across a wide spectrum of industries. Aand that’s not including any reading I do for sex education — or the occasional book for personal enjoyment (I wish I had more time for the latter!) Some of what I consume shows up in my tweets (@PhoneSexSecrets). But don’t just count on me or who I follow on Twitter. (I do have a secret mainstream Twitter as well; you might want to do that too to connect with mainstream folks!) Investigate & read on your own too. Such investments in time will be worth it.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Even if you’ve been here before, you may have missed the new additions to the site:

New, easier to schedule consultations, coaching, & tutoring sessions page!
A concise listing of all my instantly downloadable phone sex whitepaper guides!
A list of my most popular other services for PSOs — including rates and buy now options!

 

Shadowbanned On Twitter? What You Need To Know

With the recent changes to Twitter policies, more and more folks are concerned about the so-called shadowbanning. Shadowbanning, also known as stealth banning or ghosting, is when your tweets are hidden from conversations aka hashtag searches. In other words, your Twitter account is visible, all the tweets can be seen – except when a person clicks a hashtag and your tweet (including the hash, of course) is not to be found. Similarly, your tweets will not show up in threads and conversations. All of this naturally neutralizes your ability to be found and therefore participate in conversations.

Other nasty side effects of being shadowbanned include not having notifications of your @ mentions delivered to the account you mention, your own account not showing up in searches for it, and your most recent images not being shown in the most recent grid, etc..

It should be noted that Twitter is not the only social media site or digital community to use shadowbanning; it’s just that Twitter has been the largest social media site remaining open to adult folks, so its shadowbanning impacts us the most.

Shadowbanning has a long history of use. Originally, it was used in online communities to keep spammers at bay — without tipping them off that they were being subtly blocked. It is designed to ban the comments of specific users whilst keeping the user ignorant that they have been banned.

Since shadowbanning is designed to keep the banned in the shadows of knowledge, not even knowing they have been so banned, you might have to use a tool to discover it for yourself. Here’s a free way to do that.

How does shadowbanning happen?

It appears one of the primary ways your tweets can be shadowbanned are the dreaded sending of “reports” of tweets. While based on user reports, Twitter then uses artificial intelligence (AI) to attempt to discern things, such as mature or controversial topics, which get other users to report, mute, or block an account.

It’s important to note that there’s no human judgment made here. Hence the additional concerns with new Twitter policies regarding sex. As noted at YNOT:

The sections dealing with non-consensual nudity and unwanted sexual advances may be the most relevant to the adult entertainment industry. As Starr himself admitted in the email, entire porn genres are dedicated to non-consent and stalker fantasies. Nevertheless, Twitter has expanded its definition of non-consensual nudity “to more broadly include content like upskirt imagery, ‘creep shots,’ and hidden camera content,” Starr wrote.

“We will immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” Starr stated in the email. “We will do a full account review whenever we receive a Tweet-level report about non-consensual nudity. If the account appears to be dedicated to posting non-consensual nudity then we will suspend the entire account immediately.”

Starr also noted it’s nearly impossible for Twitter to distinguish between real and faux non-consensual nudity, so “[w]e would rather error [sic] on the side of protecting victims and removing this type of content when we become aware of it.”

In a departure from previous policy, Twitter’s safety team will not require a report from an alleged victim before suspending an account for non-consensual content. Adult industry companies that produce non-consent fantasy material need to be aware the proposed new policy could be weaponized by anti-porn activists, competitors, dissatisfied customers and people who simply enjoy creating drama.

These new policies are ambiguous and subjective enough — without trading human involvement for AI. Yet, even if your account is not shut down for dealing with such (or similar) fantasy material, reports (complaints) — especially multiple reports — could lead to your account being shadowbanned. And since the act of shadowbanning users is to keep them in the dark about it, Twitter offers no official help.

Shadow banning, it should be noted, happens to mainstream folks too. And it’s here that we may find the solution to shadowbanning on Twitter. Tania (of When Tania Talks) reports on a tip from Milly (of Mini Adventures) that seems to work:

So what was this genius idea? Well, apparently the world revolves around money. Milly found that by contacting the Twitter Ads team and suggesting that she wanted to place an ad, but her hashtags weren’t working resulted in her Twitter shadowban being lifted. This was done within two hours of contacting the Twitter Ads team.

Apparently, just asking about the situation — not actually paying for ads — works. (Though, if you are shadowbanned, even paying for ads might be a worthy solution!) Though it should be noted that many adult accounts won’t be able to buy Twitter ads, if you’re stuck in shadowbanned land on Twitter it may be worth giving this a try. (At least you could open a dialogue.)

You can check here & here for more tips on dealing with Twitter shadowbans on my Twitter.

All of this shadowbanning — and general signs of the pornocalypse — is just additional proof to me that one needs a website of their very own. Yes, participate on other sites, playing by their rules. But never be entirely dependant on the practices, policies, and whims of another site.

UPDATE: 3/24/2018 New post with documentation and updated tips!

Help With Games, Assignments & Tasks For Phone Sex Operators

As I mentioned, I’m working on a number of whitepapers to help with your indie PSO business. The latest release is about creating games, assignments, and tasks for phone sex callers and clients.

I do not offer scripts, neither for phone sex calls nor items to sell — nor any prepackaged “canned” services of any kind. That’s not what your clients want, so such things are not of value to you. However, this list of games & assignment/task suggestions is designed to give you various forms of online sexual play which you can use and profit from by selling in Pay To Views (PTVs), Goodies, and via stores on most other phone sex platforms.

This whitepaper includes an honest description of what separates games and tasks from traditional pic, video, and audio sales; as well as covers the benefits of such games and how to maximize them for profits (immediate and long-term, via bonding with clients). And, of course, there are numerous suggestions for types of games to play, assignments and tasks to offer.

Buy from Phone Sex Secrets through Niteflirt.com

The paper is over 4,000 words, includes a few resource links, and is in an easy to read PDF format.

This should be all the information and inspiration you need to create your own profitable phone sex operator games for PTVs, Goodies, and even calls. However, if you feel you need more assistance, feel free to contact me regarding your own personal consultation session.

More phone sex biz whitepapers can be found here.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Tips For Creating & Selling Erotic Audio

My consultation clients know that this phone sex superhero’s personal weakness is making erotic audio files to sell. I know the mechanics, the tech side, of making them. I have, on occasions, made them for regular clients. I understand the monetary value of selling them. But what I, and many other PSOs, struggle with is what to record… What do I say to a stranger I do not know? I have tried reading stories I’ve written; but as I do not know who is listening, I end up sounding like a librarian at story time with toddlers. I know that may flip a few switches, but, honestly, they sound silly to me. ;)

Who better to ask about this than a professional who produces and sells erotic audio files AND a regular consumer of adult audio? Enter Muse, who has been making such audio recordings for six years, and Alice Wonder, a consumer of erotic audios. (If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the man behind Alice Wonder Miscreations who recently launched Naughty.Audio mentioned here.) I asked both of them to share their insights and experiences — happily, both were generous enough to agree.

I know you are just one person, but what do you think customers are looking for when they purchase erotic audios?

Muse: Anonymity, ease of use; not having to interact, really.

Alice Wonder: I was raised in a very puritanical environment, and I am a naturally shy person. That combination makes it difficult for me to ask a PSO to fulfill a particular fantasy I have or if she is the right PSO to help me explore something. However by listening to her audios, and she discusses a particular kink, I feel safer discussing it with her when I call. For me, audio recordings give me a feel for the imagination of the PSO and whether or not we enjoy the same kind of role plays. I want my mind stimulated on a call. They also give me fantasy inspiration.

In addition to helping me find the right PSO to call, I also particularly enjoy tease audios for the sake of the erotic stimulation. I like to close my eyes and just listen.

I know you are just one person, Alice, but what are you looking for in adult audio?

Alice Wonder: Personally I like to be surprised. If the first time I listen to it I can predict what is going to happen, I may still enjoy the audio but I really prefer it when I can not figure out what is coming next. I like audios that have a fun aspect to them. Fun is positive and puts me in a very good mood.

On Twitter we discussed that there’s more feedback with live one-on-one phone sex calls than with recordings. (I’ve written about this on my phone sex promo Tumblr too.) This sort of live interaction is what I thrive on; the lack of it is what makes me, and other PSOs, so uncomfortable…

Alice Wonder: You know, I personally love giving feedback on phone sex calls, and when I read that discussion on Twitter I realized that I often do not give feedback on audios. I have given feedback on custom audios; but on non-custom audios, when I have given feedback at all, it been very short. I wonder if there is a psychological reason for that. I am going to try and find out.

After all these years in this business, I know something as little as hair or shoe color can be a big deal to a client. How do we know what to say, what buttons to push, when we don’t know who is listening?

Muse: Simple, we don’t.

I make things that appeal to me. And, I’m gonna get “meta” here, I think about my work as a catalog. So, I think, “How will this look when I stop?” Because Internet pirates will share and keep me ‘around’ forever. I’m also a writer, so I tend to have themes going throughout my work.

Should recordings be conversational, like leaving a voicemail message to a lover? Should they be performances or readings of erotic stories, with varying voices and the like? Should they me more voyeuristic, providing the sounds of sex? Should they be more like guided masturbation sessions, oral assignments? All of the above?! …I know the real answer is that it’s up to the performer’s own style — but based on your experiences, is there a “best practice”?

Muse: I do Erotic hypnosis, so I feel there’s a point where I go from clinical to teasing…

However, when I read erotica, as I have on Amazon, it’s more like a lover.

Alice Wonder: My favorite audios are those where the entertainer makes the audio feel like she is addressing me, leading me through a fantasy she created for me.

Do you think specific fetishes or niches are better for naughty adult audios?

Alice Wonder: This is hard to answer. I actually like to do exploration by listening to audios in different categories just to see if it turns me on. My personal favorite categories are cock-tease, coerced blowjob (Mistress coercing a straight submissive to give one to a man of her choosing), and erotic mind-fucking. However I like to listen a wide variety just to see what I like. That was one of my motives with Naughty.Audio, I wanted it to be easy to select a category and find several audios by different performers to listen to within that category.

Muse: Erotic hypnosis is amazing. I’m branching out and offering video — just my mouth in lipstick — blowing kisses, while I do monster girl themed hypnosis.

Is there an ideal length for an erotic recording?

Muse: I do shorter files of about 12 minutes; but some are 20-30 minutes.

Alice Wonder: When the audio is intended as an audio teaser for marketing, it should probably not be longer than 5 or 6 minutes. That’s long enough to build our desire, and leave us with that desire for wanting more.

When it comes to teasers, you mentioned that 5 or 6 minutes is a good length. That seems like quite a long time for me to talk to an unknown stranger who cannot converse back with me! Is a minute or two OK for a voice sample recording?

Alice Wonder: What I meant was that it shouldn’t be longer than 5 or 6 minutes. Many are shorter, and that’s fine. Around 3 to 4 minutes seems fairly common, and that is including her giving her website, phone number, and rate at the end.

For paid audios I do not think there is an ideal length. Well, I guess there is. If they go over half an hour, they probably should be split up into separate audios of 10 to 15 minutes. That lets me buy one to see if I like the series, and buy the others later if I do. If I already know I will like the series, it lets me buy the entire series at once for a small discount and feel good about having saved a few bucks.

Is there a preferred audio format?

Alice Wonder: From a strictly technical perspective, Ogg Opus. It provides extremely high quality at a much smaller file size than other common audio formats. However it is still relatively new, and a lot of players (e.g. iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.) do not support it. Chrome, FireFox, Opera, foobar2000, and VLC do support it, however. Though Safari and Internet Explorer do not. Support looks like it is coming soon for Edge.

From a player support perspective, AAC is the best. When you come across an audio file than ends in .m4a it usually is AAC. It allows high quality for spoken content at a much smaller file size than MP3 for the same audio quality, and it is supported by every browser.

As a buyer, what price do you expect to pay for a “standard” adult audio? For a custom erotic audio?

Alice Wonder: For non-custom audios, I generally feel a dollar a minute is fair for audios under half an hour, but I have zero market research on whether or not that is a good price point. For custom audios, twice her phone sex rate. Again, I have no market research. Honestly, I usually use free teaser erotic audios as a tool to find PSOs I want to call and/or inspire fantasy. I do buy audios, but not terribly frequently.

How do you calculate your pricing?

Muse: I used to only do it by time, but I’ve spent SO MUCH on my equipment! Now I just go with my gut. If I want $20 for a file I’ll get it.

Do you create and sell custom audios? If so, do you charge more for them?

Muse: I do custom audios. It’s $50 a recording; no haggling, no 20 minute mark. I may not set a file length. Yes I charge more. Maybe because I’m working on a clock — I promise barring death or sickness the custom audio will be done in 3 days.

I know a number of adult content producers who offer custom works, including custom audio. And I know that adult content makers often put those custom works up for sale; which they can do as they own the copyright to the works. This seems ideal — then you know just what a client wants, can provide it, and perhaps may make a little more off your efforts if others buy it as well. But how do clients feel about this… Does such a practice bother you?

Alice Wonder: It only would bother me if I wrote the script. If she wrote the script, it wouldn’t bother me at all. If I wrote the script and she offered me something like another audio for free then it wouldn’t bother me at all. If she was a PSO I considered an online friend and she asked, then I would feel a sense of pride and would not want anything in exchange.

On sites like NF, you can sell erotic audio as a Goodie (a digital store item, similar to purchasing a “clip” of adult video), a Pay-to-View message (via a “Buy” button), and callers can pay per minute to listen to a “recorded call.” Other platform sites offer similar options. What are your experiences with each of those sales methods? Is one better than the other?

Muse: I loathe the recorded listing. I can’t honestly tell you why, I just… do. That option made more sense before pay to views… I love pay to views. I’m warming up to Goodies, as they allow you to group similar themed content. For example, cuckold fetish bags sell well.

Alice Wonder: Delivery of audios is a sore thumb issue for me. Custom audios are often delivered by e-mail and that has caused a lot of issues as they often are a larger file size than my mail server allows for attachments.

For non-custom audios, I like to be able to download them.

However what I really want (and want to create) is an audio store that lets me listen to any audio I have purchased in the past in my web browser, just by logging in to the system. I think that would be better for privacy, because it means I do not have to have the audio files on my local computer if I don’t want them there, and I think it would be good for the performer, because the listener could be easily alerted to new audios the performer has created when he logs in to listen, and the performer could potentially be given statistics telling her which audios customers bought that they listen to frequently. Download of course should always be an option.

To clarify, I haven’t bought erotic audios from NiteFlirt; I’ve bought from LDW and I’ve bought custom audios from PSOs directly.

[Just so you (and others) know, some of these issues mentioned, they can be avoided or addressed via NiteFlirt, where purchases are stored in your account in your File Player. You can download, or just stream from there. (This includes other media, like videos, as well.)

Also, regarding custom works, when I sell audio (or custom stories), I typically ask for a deposit via a Payment Request. Once that payment is made, I begin creating. When done, I send the finished work with the balance due in a Pay to View. That way, the client receives the item as soon as they make their payment. It avoids schedule/time difference delays as well as issues with file size. (Similar options are on most phone sex platforms.)]

What is likely to turn you off as a buyer?

Alice Wonder: It is really annoying when I purchase an audio and then have to open it up in an audio editor to remove noise and/or peak normalize it so the volume is proper. It has happened to me several times, and is one of my pet peeves; especially since the result is never as good as it would have been if working from the master. I would buy more if I was not scared of that somewhat frequent problem.

Aside from the technical issues, what else might turn you off as an audio buyer? Let’s say you have not purchased from a particular performer before but you see an audio listed which seems interesting, arousing… What sort of things might deter you from making that first time purchase?

Alice Wonder: Good question! I do not know the answer — but I do know I am turned off if there is no way to find out something more about the phone sex operator. If they do not have a blog/Tumblr that they use… If they either do not tweet, or if the only tweets they do have are quite obviously just auto generated.

If I can see how they react to people, it makes them more personal to me.

In general, what reassures you to go ahead and make a purchase?

Alice Wonder: Brutally honest here, lust. Something makes me really desire it.

The first erotic audio I ever purchased, the artist had a series of six and she ran a promotional that allowed us to download the first two for free in exchange for signing up at her site. I eventually bought the entire set because the first two left me wanting more.

Another time I purchased, it was a foot worship audio from a different performer. She wrote a blog about it where she had the beginning of the audio in text and it tantalized me into buying the audio.

To the PSOs, like myself, who feel awkward talking into a microphone to reach an unknown listener, what advice would you give?

Muse: I’m a writer, an erotica writer. So, I can script. I recommend it. But honestly, just jump in try it. It doesn’t hurt and you can always delete it.

If you try and feel it’s lacking, message me via NF. I do freelance script writing for a fee. My script services start at $5 depending on depth and topic.

Thanks to you both for sharing!

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Phone Sex Caller Survey Results To Help You Work Your Phone Sex Business

Over the past five years, on & off, I’ve run a survey for phone sex callers. Compiling the data was no easy feat as one after another of the free survey sites either departed or no longer allowed free surveys. So, while the questions and the answer options remained the same, I needed to do some work before I could present the results of the nearly 5,000 responses. (To be precise, there were 4,773 survey participants).

First, I meticulously ran the numbers of each survey. Then, I had to compare the results to see if there were any trends or insights to be gained from each set of results; there was no statistically significant difference. Next, I combined all the survey result data, rendered charts & graphs — and compiled all the result findings into a whitepaper available for purchase via NiteFlirt.

The results of my analysis include, where notable, include any comments from survey participants who went that extra step to email their thoughts. (Any such comments are shared under anonymity and are provided as anecdotal support or clarification.)

Results include:

  • What turns potential callers on — and off — in profiles and phone sex listings
  • Where callers start looking for independent PSOs
  • How important are photos — and what’s important about them
  • When and why phone sex operator blogs, websites, social media, etc. are important

Also included: break down by age demographics.

Disclaimers: Survey participants were self-described paying phone sex clients who volunteered to participate in an online survey. In other words, it likely does not have a representative sample. For example, an online survey certainly is affected by the lack of participation in populations which are less likely to have internet access.

However, to my knowledge, this is the only survey which provides insights into some of the demographics, concerns, turn-ons & turn-offs, of paying phone sex callers. It is provided as helpful information in terms of marketing your phone sex business. It is available as PDF containing 3,300+ words, 26 pages, with 12 graphs. You can buy it here. The whitepaper is absolutely under copyright; there is no sharing, posting, publication, or other transmission of this report or its findings without my express written permission.

Once you read the phone sex survey whitepaper, if there’s something specific in the results you are looking for help with, if you’d like more detailed information about your specific target audience demographic, feel free to schedule your personal phone sex business consultation.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

New Free Erotic Audio & PSO Promotion Website Launches

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose first!

If you pay attention — really pay attention! — to my Twitter, you may have noticed a recent conversation about the promotion of erotic audio recordings. Whether you read about that or not, I can now announce that there’s a brand new site, from Alice Wonder Miscreations, dedicated to the promotion of erotic audio: Naughty.Audio.

And this new site isn’t just about promoting adult recordings either; it’s about promoting phone sex operators themselves:

Naughty.Audio aims to provide a web platform that allows Phone Sex Operators to easily make teaser audios readily available to the potential customers who wish to sample both her voice and her creativity.

…As the visionary and developer behind Naughty.Audio, I like to think of it as a type of search engine for kinksters, though perhaps a catalog would be better description.

I don’t know “Alice” very well; just from his Tumblr & Twitter. But I do know two things from following him: One, he’s an actual, paying, phone sex client; and, two, that both security and privacy were huge parts of the site’s construction.

Naughty Audio is completely free right now — for both PSOs and clients. Currently, there are no plans to monetize — so it’s a free marketing tool for phone sex operators and a free directory service for callers.

While the site is brand new, i.e. just building traffic, I would recommend taking the time to explore the site and consider the potential. While it may be a slow start, being among the first to participate can have plenty of benefits.

Individual phone sex operators and phone sex companies can find more information about Naughty Audio, including contact info, here.

I am told there is more to come in the future from Alice Wonder Miscreations. So stay tuned!

More posts about audio recordings are here.

Quick – Really Quick – Links For Phone Sex Operators

Honestly, this time I will be quick!

1) I’ve written before about taxes for phone sex operators, but here’s even more info on taxes for freelancers.

2) If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely noticed that I’ve been sharing and retweeting a number of links to news stories about sex tech and start-ups. I’m betting a good number of you have been ignoring them, thinking, “I’m a PSO; I don’t need to know that.” But this short post at Eros Blog cuts to the meat of most of these stories. And hopefully you can see the how and why of why I am sharing these things. (Also, it is wise for those of us in the adult industry to keep an eye on the pornocalypse hashtag.)

That’s it — for now. *wink*

(I told you it would be quick!)

Affordable Advertising Opportunity For Phone Sex Operators

harlot mediaA few weeks ago, I retweeted a tweet from Harlot Media regarding their launch advertising at their fabulous digital magazine. Since advertising at intelligent, well trafficked sites can be difficult to find for those of us in the PSO business — and because Harlot deserves to be supported — I am sharing the information on their advertising options.

(And, yes, I will be advertising there soon myself.)

Currently we’re looking at 3 types of advertising- a text link, which will be on our sidebar with a label like “What We’re Into”, a vertical banner ad (you provide the art, we’ll provide dimensions) that’ll be on our sidebar, and an advertorial/sponsored content piece, which will be about 700 words either interviewing you or about a topic that will include links to your work!

Pricing:

Text Link: This will live on the sidebar of Harlot.Media. You will be able to change the url/text of your link at any time during the length of your ad, subject to our Articles of Harlotry.

One Week- $10
One Month- $30
Six Months- $45

Banner Ad: This will live on the sidebar of Harlot.Media. You will be able to change the url/art of your banner at any time during the length of your ad, subject to our Articles of Harlotry.

150×150- $25 per month
250×150- $50 per month
250×350- $100 per month

We can totally work out a deal if you want to buy multiple months, just let me know!

Advertorial/Sponsored Content: Perhaps you want a blog post focused on a particular topic that relates to your site as a way of bringing attention to it? Maybe you’d like an interview highlighting a new hashtag you’ve created? This might be a good option for you! One of our staff writers will write the post with your input. There will be a link to your site/product at the beginning and at the end of the post acknowledging your sponsorship, and no other links to other sites except ours and yours.

$150 for a 700 word piece

Please let me know what you’d be interested in! We’re likely to be raising these rates after a couple months but definitely want to prioritize POC, queer, and other marginalized business owners or companies that serve these underrepresented markets. If you start advertising with us now, you will lock down that rate for as long as you pay it monthly/weekly.

These rates will be posted, likely on Monday, at http://harlot.media/advertising; but as I have several (exciting!) posts to make in the next few days, I am sharing now.

UPDATE: Advertising page at Harlot is here: http://harlot.media/advertise-with-us

UPDATE: You may contact Harlot Media here, or email at harlot.ads (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

PS If you were looking for some basic info on advertising (and affiliate programs), I’ve received permission to sell Deanna Dahlsad‘s whitepaper on that over at NiteFlirt. (Since her mainstream MPS site is one of those negatively impacted by MPS’s latest debacle, I made arrangements for you to still find it!) Dahlsad also runs Blog Tours, including for adult services/sites.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose first!

Part Two Of The Exclusive SinCats Phone Sex Site Interview

Continuing the Sin Cats interview with Mary Bennet. (Bennet is in charge of Social Media Marketing and Promotions as well as a Support Rep for Affiliates and Partners at SinCats.) In the first part, we covered the basic overview of the new phone sex site (which also allows camgirls, indie clip makers, and more).

features_sincats

Included in this post are some screenshots that Mary has provided. They demonstrate the various features that are available to performers, via their admin panel. As always, click to see larger versions.

Now we get into more detail about the new site…

What are the fees for this site, both for callers & operators?

Our website is free for both callers and operators.

Why do we offer our services for FREE and allow customer and operators the ability to use our platform and keep 100% of the profits? There are a few ways that we make money — after all, it is a needed to keep the site running.

We make money via the following options:

1. We offer paid ad space. This is displayed on the left side of our website and the costs are very reasonable. Companies or individuals that wish to display a paid advertisement can contact us for details and their ad will appear on every webpage located on the left sidebar.

2. We offer upgrade options. All accounts are 100% free and include access to everything you need to succeed as an independent performer. However, you can upgrade your account by ordering highlighted listings, featured listings, your own domain name and WP blog, newsletter feature, unlimited friend requests and friend accepts, unlimited call codes, promotional services, and higher ranking (upgraded paid accounts are listed above all free accounts).

Can you give me some ballpark price ranges on such things as advertising, etc.?

We have two ad placement zones and our pricing is based on our traffic. As our traffic is low at the moment, we are not promoting our ads zones; however within the next couple months they will be available.

Ad zone 1: This is a 250 width by 150 height static ad placement that appears on the left side of all pages (except the performer profile pages). You can see an example of this on our home page at www.sincats.com listed under the ‘new performers’ sidebar widget. We display a total of 6 ads on the sidebar and they currently sell for $95/month. (*This price is subject to change by the end of this year.) We do not rotate ad spots, so once they are full we cannot accept new advertisers until a new spot becomes available.

As zone 2: This is a 120 width by 60 height static ad placement that appears on all free performer profile pages.  Paid performers have ‘ad free’ profiles. We display a total of 6 ads on all free performer profile pages and they currently sell for $50/month. (*This price is subject to change by the end of this year.) As with the left sidebar ads, we do not rotate ad spots, so once they are full we cannot accept new advertisers until a new spot becomes available.

When you say, “Paid performers have ‘ad free’ profiles,” you mean those who pay for the upgraded accounts, at the $9.95 per month, correct?

Yes. All initial registrations by default are free and therefore subject to display ads within the free profile. However, upon upgrading, the ads instantly disappear. This is another benefit to having a premium or upgraded account on SinCats.

A fully upgraded account on SinCats costs $9.95/month. You can upgrade at anytime from your admin section and the changes occur instantly.

Callers also have similar features when they upgrade their acccount. Callers can register for free and gain access to virtually every feature on our website. However there are some limitations; free customers cannot create jobs (we have a job board that displays recent job postings), free customers have limitations on the amount of messages they can send/receive and the amount of call codes they can use.  Also the customer’s status is listed as ‘free’ and this is displayed on the customer’s profile page.

However, none of these upgrades are needed to use our platform — or make serious money as a performer. Money that you don’t need to wait for, money that is received in the manner that you wish to receive it: Direct to you from the customer.

sin cats performer profile optionsSpeaking of money, I see that operators are allowed to use Amazon and the like as payment; aren’t you concerned about the issues involved here, namely that some of those options are either not merchant accounts &/or have expressly forbidden adult content/business?

We have a wide range of options that operators can choose from when accepting payment from a customer. It is important to note that we do not accept payment on behalf of the customer. Instead the payment goes directly from the customer to the performer.

Also there is no direct correlation between the chosen payment method and adult services. Amazon Wish Lists have been used for years as a way to receive items in exchange for services.

There are so many ways to receive payment that do not include the risk involved in a direct merchant account: Account Now, Cash, Money Order, Phone Card, Western Union, Chase, Dwolla, NetSpend, Ritani, Wish Pot, Bitcoin, Check, Money Gram, Zappos, and trade (or other).

The option to accept payment by ‘trade’ could mean that a customer has a particular skill set that you need and are willing to provide your services in exchange for that skillset. This might mean website design, website development, paying for an ad placement to promote the performer’s profile on high traffic phone sex websites, legal assistance, etc.

Adult merchant accounts are a good option and this is why we have listed credit card as one of the possible choices. There are many performers that have their own adult merchant account and can use this account to process customer’s credit cards. However for the average (and especially new performer), merchant accounts are not an option that is easy to obtain.

Here’s some of the reasons why…

Merchant accounts are risky. Did you know that a customer can order services online, then at any time within 3 – 6 months that customer can contact his bank and report the transaction as fraud? Even if the transaction was 100% valid and you have records (IP address, email, phone number, etc.) chances are you will still lose that sale. In addition to that you will be charged a $35.00 fee for every chargeback that is filed. You may make $5,000.00 in one month, then lose $7,500.00 the next month due to chargebacks. And any performer that has worked in this industry using their own merchant account knows that the banks always side with the customer and chargeback disputes are virtually impossible to win. Virtually all pay per minute phone sex and webcam sites have an issue with this and often have to adjust the performer’s payment based on the chargeback. It is not the fault of the company, but rather the difficult position that banks place ‘high risk’ adult companies in regards to chargebacks.

Merchant accounts are expensive. An adult merchant account will cost you $1,000 a year for Visa and MasterCard registration. You also need to show proof of a valid business license and business address. In addition to their there are tons of small fees (transaction fees, gateway fees, etc).

Also if you process credit cards on your own website you are required to be PCI compliant. This means that you have to provide all of the nessacry means to protect the customer’s credit card details. If there is a breach and this information is exposed you can be fined over $100,000. If you think it is easy to secure this data think about Target and how they were recently hacked and thousands of customer’s credit card details were exposed.

An alternative…

In comparison, let’s consider that you use an alternative payment option. For example Bitcoin. You open a merchant Bitcoin account (it is free on most websites and easy to setup). You then provide the customer with a Bitcoin payment link to order your services. Once the payment is completed you will receive a notification and you can proceed to provide your services knowing that this money will not be charged back and you will receive virtually 100% of it as Bitcoin charges very little processing fees.

Or perhaps you think a little more outside the box and offer your services in exchange for minutes added to your pre-paid phone. Often performers use a pre-paid phone as this provides a layer of anonymity and security. In this scenario you provide the customer with a link to the pre-paid card you require to load your phone. The customer purchases the card, sends you the code and you can add the minutes instantly to your account. No risk of chargeback.

Another scenario might be that you need more traffic in order to bring in more customers and sales. You can offer the customer an option to pay for ad placement in exchange for services. There are tons or reputable services that offer this, including Juicyads, PhoneSexCentral, etc. [See here & here.] Once the ad is live, you can proceed to engage with the customer and provide your services as agreed.

Once you start to consider all of the possibilities it can be rather exciting. There are so many ways to receive payment and remove risk of chargebacks and payment delays.

sincat performe gallery admin sincats video clip management sincats pso audio files

Are there any verification requirements? Specifically, do you verify legal adult age/status? Are operators required to be verified in any way?

All participants on our network are required to be 18 years or older. We do require verification on a case-by-case basis. If we believe that a performer may be underage we flag the account (suspending public listing) and send a message to require proper documentation.

We have been counseled on this through our legal services and work closely with our attorney to ensure that all practices are legal. Since performers on our network do not work for us, but instead use our platform to network and promote themselves, we are not obligated to require age verification for every account. We are required to police our network and ensure that all content is legal, and we do this 24/7.

For those of you familiar with PhoneSexCentral (which is a major phone sex listing website) you will know that you can create an account and promote your website without the need to send in sensitive details such as a photo ID, social security card, banking account information, etc. Our website works in a similar manner, however it has far more advanced social networking features and is based on recent technology.

I believe you are using CCBill for the upgraded account, correct? If so, this would provide adult verification, yes?

We use Epoch and CCBill. Epoch provides an excellent direct mode payment gateway and a slightly higher success rate of payment. CCBill is used as a fall-back processor. However both provide age verification.

We are also considering additional measures to prevent minors from gaining access to our website. Monitoring site activity and relying on community support are also tools that we will use in our efforts to prevent unauthorized access.

Of the 200+ members, do you know what percent are operators, what percent are callers/buyers?

The ration is about 50/50 at the moment. We are trying to promote the site to both account types so that the member base (customer and performers) grow at a steady and natural level.

Thanks, Mary. I myself am going to create a performer account & play around a bit… Likely, much more to come on this new option in phone sex & cam promotion called Sincats.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

sincats phone sex operator cam performer messages inbox